While JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is loved across the world and by people of all ages, a US school recently banned the boy wizard from its library after exorcists said they risked conjuring evil spirits.
According to an AFP report, the Catholic school in Tennessee removed the Harry Potter books from its library as the “popular children’s novels could be used to summon spirits”.
Reverend Dan Reehil contacted exorcists in Rome and the US, who recommended removing the fantasy novels from St Edward Catholic School’s library in Tennessee.
“The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” the reverend said in an email obtained by local media.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told the newspaper The Tennessean that Reehil had “canonical authority to make such decisions.”
According to Global News, in an email to parents, Hammel said the books were removed during a purge as the library was relocated to another part of the school.
Hammel said an expert in library sciences recommended culling several books from the catalogue “for age appropriateness” and “due to poor circulation.” She said Reehil added Harry Potter to the purge list “out of an abundance of caution,” while acting in his role as school pastor.
The news did not go down well among netizens online:
I guarantee that Nashville school had more important matters to deal with that did not include banning all of the Harry Potter books. I guess they don’t want their students to have any fun or any type of an imagination? Banning books? What a ridiculous thing to do. 🤦🏻♀️
— Nicollette (@Nicollette_91) September 4, 2019
One side of we laughs at the idea of exorcists being so scared of Harry Potter, but the other side of me weeps at both the ignorance of the people involved and for children who will never read one of the best book series of all time https://t.co/0RPxECmgJl
— AJ (@ArionJessamyn) September 4, 2019
If I could conjure evil spirits from Harry Potter books, I’d use them to torment all the Catholic priests that molested all those young boys so I can see why they wouldnt want us getting our hands on those books.
— Michael jackson (@MJsTopShelf) September 4, 2019
I live in a country that bans Harry Potter books out of children’s safety, and yet refuses to ban assault weapons for the same premise.
— Jordan Fisher 🏳️🌈 (@jordanwfisher_) September 3, 2019
— Lumos SK (@SkLumos) September 3, 2019
— Amir Nadarevic (L.A. Hope) (@amirnadarevic) September 3, 2019
America has schools that ban Harry Potter.
Yep, the books that inspired a whole generation to read—and have been demonstrated to reduce prejudice—are apparently a menace to society. Expelliarmus!
— Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) September 3, 2019
You know, this is totally unfair. I read all of the Harry Potter books and did not conjure one single evil spirit. Or any kind of spirit for that matter. https://t.co/QgEfrhkOCE
— Robyn Pennacchia (@RobynElyse) September 2, 2019
Ever since it’s launch in 1997, the books and the subsequent films based on it gained immense popularity, however, hasn’t been short of criticism either. And it’s not the first time the books faced challenges.
According to The American Library Association (ALA), “Harry Potter tops the list of most challenged books of 21st Century”. The ALA reported that there were numerous attempts to remove books from schools and public libraries on these books, as they defined ‘challenges’ as “formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”